New Food Dream: Cooking What You Want
“Success means creating food that makes you happy. Back when I was coming up through the ranks it was all about fine dining. That was the top 10 percent and that was where the best of the best were supposed to end up. Now things are much more fluid and chefs know that great food can be created at any level.” – Aki Kamozowa of Ideas in Food
These are wise words from one-half of Ideas in Food, the website from which Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot have experimented with food—on their own terms—since 2004. While the Ideas in Food duo found freedom on the web, chefs across the country have abandoned the idea of fine dining as an end goal. Instead, they're opening restaurants that satisfy cheffy cravings from the gut. Chef Ricky Moore worked at Daniel and Tru before he launched Durham, North Carolina’s Saltbox Seafood Joint and began selling grilled fish and deep-fried broccoli from his toll booth-sized hut. Chef Danny Bowien has taken the West and East Coasts by storm (with NYC on brief hiatus) with his casual, unapologetically inauthentic, and undeniably cravable Mission Chinese. Chef Teddy Diggs went from posts in Tysons Corners and New York City to the seasonal destination of Martha’s Vineyard, where he makes homey, to-die-for lobster-corn pancakes and a badass oyster chowder at the beloved Art Cliff Diner. Rising Star Chef Richie Nakano—@linecook for life—is peddling soul-satisfying ramen from the San Francisco farmers market. These chefs aren’t Alinea drop-outs that couldn’t make it in high-pressure, Michelin-starred kitchens. They are visionaries—missionaries—for delicious, accessible dining, and they’re cooking food just the way they like it.